Tips for Dealing with Spring Allergies

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Although you may be happy that warmer weather has finally arrived, you may be frustrated with the allergy symptoms it may bring with it. Unlike food allergies or allergies to certain types of animals, spring allergies often occur when the trees, flowers and other fauna are in bloom.

What are the Common Allergy Symptoms?

Spring allergy symptoms can range from the sniffles to coughing, sneezing and watery eyes. In severe cases, they can cause a person to trouble breathing and can affect their ability to concentrate. Allergy symptoms can make a person feel ill and have a negative impact on their school or work performance.

Identifying the Causes of Allergies

If a person believes that they have allergies, it is highly recommended that they go to a specialist who can help them identify exactly what they are allergic to. An allergy specialist may give you a skin test or a blood test. Skin tests often include pricking the skin with a small amount of the suspected allergen. If you are allergic to that particular allergen, you will form a red bump at the site of the prick.

Tips to Prevent Allergy Symptoms

If a specialist is able to identify a particular allergen that is causing you trouble, they may have medication that you can take that will reduce the symptoms and make you feel better. However, if your symptoms are not severe enough to warrant prescription medication or they are more troublesome than normal, there are some natural remedies you can use to keep your symptoms at bay.

For example, nasal irrigation may potentially help clean out the sinuses, which could make breathing a little bit easier. To do this, you will need to mist up a solution of warm distilled water, a quarter-teaspoon of baking soda and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. A neti pot or squeeze bottle is then used to administer the solution into the sinuses. It is important to note that this works for some and not for others, so if you do not see any improvements, you may need to find alternative treatments.

Spring Cleaning to Get Rid of Allergy Symptoms

If you are allergic to pollen and other types of biological allergens, you can help make yourself feel better by making sure your home is free of them. Vacuuming at least once a week and doing the occasional dusting can keep your exposure levels at bay. Be sure to change out or wash your furnace filters, depending on the type that you use, on a regular basis so that you can be sure that the airborne allergens are being removed from the air that you are breathing. You can also install a whole-home air cleaner like these to improve your indoor air quality.

You can also prevent some allergens from getting into your home by removing your shoes before you come inside. If you spent the day outdoors, a quick change of clothes can prevent you from transporting pollen and other allergens all around your home. Finally, you may find it appropriate to shower before jumping into your sheets. This way, you can breathe a little easier and get a refreshing night of rest.

Stay Healthy and Productive

When you find a system of keeping the allergens at bay that works for you, you will be amazed at just how much better and more energized you feel. Note that, in addition to keeping pollen and other biological allergens out of your home and taking medical precautions, it is always helpful to eat a healthy diet, stay active and stay positive.

Taking Control of Indoor Pollutants During the Winter

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

During the winter when temperatures remain low, keeping the home airtight and warm may be of the highest priority for many homeowners. While sealing off the home from the outside world will save money and keep inhabitants warmer, there is a major drawback. Sealing up the home can cause indoor air pollutants to also become trapped in the recirculating air, potentially causing feelings of illness or other more severe symptoms.
What are Indoor Pollutants?

Indoor pollutants can range from biological allergens like pet dander and pollen to harmful or even toxic particles called volatile organic compounds. Pollutants can be brought indoors from outside or they may be generated inside from appliances or even from the home’s heating unit.

Before you can begin to improve the indoor air quality in your home, you will need to determine where the pollutants are coming from. Volatile organic compounds can be found in many household supplies, personal care products, furnishings and paints. Fireplaces, dryers and other appliances also give off combustion pollutants when they are used. Finally, biological pollutants can be created when the pets shed, mold and mildew buildup in the damp places or if you bring them in from outside. For example, you can potentially bring in pollen, environmental tobacco smoke and pesticides on your shoes.

Symptoms that can be Caused by Indoor Air Pollutants

Poor indoor air quality can make you and other family members feel ill. It can cause watery eyes, coughing and sneezing. When the air quality is very poor, you may even suffer from headaches and upper respiratory congestion. In worst case scenarios, sufferers may even get nose bleeds more easily, have difficulty breathing or even develop a severe lung disease.

Because these symptoms are associated with other illnesses, you may not think about your indoor air quality when you are suffering these symptoms. However, if you feel better when you are away from home, then it may be worth taking steps to improve your indoor air quality.

Simple Ways to Reduce Indoor Pollutants

It is just a fact of life that you, your pets and your appliances will always be producing air pollutants. While you can certainly reduce the amount of some pollutants in your home, making your air permanently cleaner for the winter will involve your heater. Your heating equipment is responsible for circulating the air when your home is sealed off, so any pollutants that are in the home will have to pass through your heater first. As such, ensure that you clean or replace the filter once every 30 days during the winter. If you have a regular filter, you can upgrade to a HEPA filter, which collects smaller particles and prevents them from going back into the circulating air.

Another way you can improve your indoor air quality is to stop using products that leave pollutants in the air. For example, choosing to use green cleaning supplies and non-aerosol personal care products can reduce the amount of pollutants you are adding into the air. Additionally, if you are involved in hobbies that require paint or chemicals, working in a well-ventilated room, even if it is cold, will prevent you from breathing in the fumes. To keep biological pollutants at bay, you can up your vacuuming and dusting game to prevent a buildup of irritants. Shoes should be taken off outside or be left at the front door.

During the winter, it is important for everyone to be aware of their indoor air quality and how to combat them. By being vigilant, you can ensure that the air you are breathing while stuck indoors is clean.

 

The Importance of Humidity

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Many homeowners do not understand just how important the amount of humidity in their homes can be. The amount of moisture in the air can dictate how the inhabitants of a home may feel or even allow for certain unwanted organisms to grow within the home. However, maintaining humidity levels may be the last thing on your mind, especially if you are busy keeping your air conditioner, roof and gutters maintained. Regardless, adding the maintenance of humidity levels could greatly improve the way that you feel while hanging out at home.

 
Dealing with Dry Air

You may find that you suffer from dry sinuses, dry skin and chapped lips during the winter time or when the air becomes particularly dry during the summer. Dry indoor air can cause a person to suffer from nosebleeds, headaches and other associated illnesses.

The main way to increase the humidity level within the home is to purchase a humidifier. There are several different types of humidifiers available, including:

  • Install a Central Humidifier: These humidifiers are included as part of the home’s HVAC system and are designed to raise humidity levels throughout the home.
  • Impellar Humidifiers: These humidifiers have a rotating disk installed that produces a cool mist.
  • Steam Vaporizers: Electricity is used to create a cooling steam that is then released into the air. Because this device involves hot water, it is not recommended for households that have children or pets.
  • Ultrasonic Humidifiers: These devices use an ultrasonic vibration to produce a mist that increases humidity levels.
  • Evaporators: Air is blown through a wet material, which could be a wet filter, belt or wick.

Dealing with Damp Air

High humidity levels often becomes a problem during the summer time. Occupants who suffer from certain allergies may be more likely to suffer from respiratory problems or even asthma flare-ups. Further, dust mites, molds and bacteria can also grow within the home if the humidity levels are high enough.

There are several things that you can do to lower the humidity levels within the home:

  • Purchase a Dehumidifier: Dehumidifiers suck the excessive moisture from the air and collect it in a reservoir.
  • Install a Permanent Dehumidifier
  • Run the Air Conditioner: When air is forced through the air conditioner, the air is not only cooled but dried.

What are the Ideal Humidity Levels?

In general, humidity refers to the amount of moisture in the air. If the home does not have proper ventilation, the indoor air can become stale and dry. However, if too much moisture is added to the indoor air, the occupants of the home could also suffer from symptoms associated with the flu while the growth of harmful bacteria and other organic contaminants may be assisted.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that homeowners keep their indoor humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. If you or another occupant suffer from allergies, it is recommended that you speak to your doctor about what humidity levels would be right for you.

How do I Measure My Home’s Humidity Levels?

The device used to test humidity levels is called a hygrometer, which resembles a thermometer. While these devices can be purchased at any of your local hardware stores, many humidifiers also come equipped with a hygrometer to help keep indoor humidity at a healthy level. Hydrometers come in both analog forms and digital forms, both of which are simple to use and allow you to better control the conditions within your home.

 

Tips for Surviving Spring Allergies

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

4. Pollenallergy-suffering-woman-young-sick-ill-spring-using-tissue-nose-49402168With the weather finally warming up, it’s time to open the windows and spend some quality time outdoors. For those who suffer from severe spring allergies, however, this time of the year can lead to congestion, sneezing and sniffling. Not only can these symptoms make it difficult to breath, but sufferers also often have trouble concentrating in school or at work. Even if you are already on medication, there are several ways you can give your sinuses some relief.

Check Pollen Counts

When it comes to the amount of pollen in the air, some days are worse than others. If your allergies are severe enough, you may need to plan your outdoor activities with your local pollen count. Weather.com provides an allergen forecast that you can use to see your local pollen and mold levels. If the levels are high, you may want to workout indoors or choose another indoor activity for the day.

Change Your Clothing

Pollen particles can take a ride on your clothing and attach to your shoes. To reduce the amount of pollen you bring in to your home, consider changing out of your work or school clothing as soon as you get back. Leave your shoes by the door and deposit your clothes into a closed hamper so pollen and other contaminants are contained. This way, you won’t be tracking allergens around your house and onto your furniture.

Close Your Windows

If you are allergic to pollen, the last thing you want to do is allow the pollen particles into your home. Keeping your windows closed will keep the pollen out. On the days where the pollen count is low, throw those windows open and enjoy a fresh breeze through your home.

Install a Whole-Home Media Air Cleaner

The air you breathe inside your home could be the most polluted air you breathe all day. In fact the EPA has named indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks to public health. With the amount of time spent indoors, it’s no wonder so many people suffer from allergies, asthma and other illnesses. Check out some of the air purity products that we carry here. We also install UV Lights and other indoor air purity products.

Wear a Surgical Mask

While the idea of wearing a surgical mask seems silly, they can actually help keep pollen and other allergens out. In fact, people in many places around the world, such as Japan and Korea, utilize the masks to stay healthy when the pollen counts get high. These surgical masks now come in a variety of styles and colors so you can still look stylish while working in the garden. Look for the masks that are marked N95 as these have been shown to filter out 95 percent of pollen and other contaminants.

Take Care of Yourself

It is no secret that allergies can take a huge toll on your general well-being. Even though the symptoms can be annoying, brushing off your headache or congestion can be detrimental to your health. If your symptoms are making you feel ill or are preventing you from getting your work done, consider taking a sick day if possible. Pushing through can put unneeded stress on your body and actually cause you to get sick, making you feel worse than you already do.

Do You Actually Have Allergies?

If you live in an area that has versatile weather, the swing from cold to hot can cause bodily symptoms that are very similar to allergies. In general, you most likely have allergies if you only suffer the symptoms after spending the day outside or are around pollen and other triggers. If you are suffering from symptoms that last longer than two weeks or you’re suffering from aches and even fevers, you may actually be sick. Consider talking to your doctor.

No matter where you live, it is practically impossible to avoid spring allergies, especially if you live in an area where lots of plants grow. However, you can relieve your symptoms by being smart about staying away from allergens and triggering your allergies.

Why Every Home Should Have an Air Purifier

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Your indoor air quality should always be on your radar. Homes that have poor indoor air quality are often difficult to breathe in and can result in general ill feelings and problems with asthma or allergies. One way to improve your indoor air quality is to find an air purifier that works for your home. An air purifier will help you breathe more easily and make your home feel more comfortable. 

 

What Does an Air Purifier Do?

Air purifiers are devices that help remove contaminants from the circulating air. Some of the contaminants that they help to remove can include pet dander, mold spores and dust, all of which can trigger allergies. Air purifiers can also help remove smoke particles and various volatile organic compounds, contaminants that contribute to sick building syndrome. Depending on the size of your home, you may opt for one that is stand-alone or one that can be installed as a part of your HVAC system.

Aprilaire Air Cleaners

Eliminating Allergies and Reducing Respiratory Problems

Allergens are always going to be present in your home. There are many people who are extremely sensitive to these allergens, especially young children. If you have pets in the home, for example, you may find yourself feeling slightly ill or even sneezing more than usual. An air purifier will filter out the dander from your circulating air so you don’t have to worry about breathing in your cat or dog’s dander.

Poor indoor air quality can also impact those who have respiratory illnesses or problems such as asthma. Attacks for some who have respiratory diseases can lead to loss of breath and can even be deadly in certain situations. By keeping the air quality within the living space as high as possible, families can reduce the potential for these attacks to occur while making it easier to breathe. 

Get Rid of Unpleasant Smells in the Home

Your home’s furniture, carpets and bedding can soak up odors from a wide variety of sources, making your home smell dirty. Sources could include, for example, dirty diapers, sports or gym equipment and even your pets. Some of the smells may even be coming from a neighboring home or apartment depending on where you live, meaning you may not feel like you have control over how your home smells. Because many people are very sensitive to these types of smells, a home that smells dirty can make it impossible to relax. When no amount of cleaning works to rid your home of that strange unpleasant odor, an air purifier can give your living space a boost of freshness.

Deal with the New Home Smell

If you’re moving into a home that has just been built, the home may still smell of new paint and new carpeting. While the smell may not necessarily be unpleasant, it can cause you to have headaches and exacerbate any health problems you or your family members may have. New carpeting, paint and even new furniture often have formaldehyde and other preservatives that are dangerous when breathed in for long periods of time. Even if your new home does not have much of an odor, VOCs can still be found in low-odor materials. 

Stay Happy and Healthy

Fresh, healthy air is important to your well-being. When you simply can’t properly ventilate your home by opening the windows due to poor outdoor air quality or cold weather, the right air purifier can give you some peace of mind knowing that the air that you’re breathing is still clean and healthy.

 

The Pros and Cons of Having Your Ducts Cleaned

Friday, November 6th, 2015

When professionals are hired to clean a home or business’s air ducts, they will not only clean the return-air grilles or registers and the interior of the ducts, they may also clean the air conditioning pump. In some cases, a disinfectant may also be used to kill any mold or bacteria that may be growing. While it seems like regularly cleaning a dirty duct makes sense, it is actually not clear if there are any pros or cons to having your ducts cleaned.

The Pros of Having Your Ducts Cleaned

Currently, there is no evidence that indicates that cleaning your air ducts is beneficial for either your heating and cooling systems or your health. However, one of the main reasons that homeowners often choose to have their ducts professionally cleaned is for peace of mind. Not only will the cleaning get rid of any dust, the professional is likely to spot any problems.

There are a few other possible advantages to duct cleanings, though it is important to note that these reasons are not substantiated. For example, duct cleanings may:

  • Increased HVAC equipment efficiency
  • A reduction in unpleasant odors
  • A reduction in the spread of mold spores throughout the home
  • Improved respiratory health

There are a few instances where you may wish to have your air ducts clean. For example, if you are moving into a new home, if your HVAC system sustained damages due to fire or flooding, there is evidence of pest infestation or if you have pets that shed, an air duct cleaning may be beneficial.

 

The Cons of Having Your Ducts Cleaned

 

There is also no evidence that indicates that a proper duct cleaning can negatively impact your health. It should be noted that dust and other contaminants often stick to the duct surfaces, never making it into the circulating air. Contaminants that can negatively impact your health are actually most likely brought indoors from outside.

Another potential problem is that the actual cleaning process can cause the contaminants and dust to be spread throughout the living space when they are disrupted. In some cases, it may be suggested that chemical biocides be used. These chemical biocides supposedly kill any microbiological contaminants that may be stuck in the decks and vents. However, the EPA notes that research into how these biocides can impact your indoor air quality is not complete.

 

Dusty Ducts could Indicate Problems with Your HVAC Systems

 

Although air ducts are likely to get a little bit dusty as the particles stick to the dust surface, your ducts should never get to the point where they are caked in dirt and grime. If your ducts are extremely dirty, it is likely that there are some other problems with your HVAC equipment. In order to prevent the buildup of dust and other contaminants, there are a couple things that you can do:

  • Use a high quality filter that traps particles. Make sure you replace or clean that filter as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Vacuum your home frequently to pick up dust and pet hair that may become trapped in your vents and ducts.
  • When you replace your air conditioner, consider replacing your air ducts.
  • Have your air conditioner or heater installed by a reputable contractor who will properly seal your ducts.

Ultimately, if you and your family are moving into a new home, have severe allergies or believe that your HVAC system is not working efficiently, you may wish to have your air ducts cleaned. Just be aware that more research is needed to determine whether or not there is a real advantage to having your ducts professionally cleaned.

 

Using UV Light to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

As a homeowner, you want your refuge to be a safe and healthy place for you and your family to relax. This may mean ensuring that your home is air tight and sealed against the outside environment. While sealing off your home can prevent the outside world from coming in, it can also cause poor indoor air quality.

What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?

Poor indoor air quality can be caused by a number of contaminants, including:

  • Pets: Pet dander, which consists of hair and skin, can be shed. When it gets into the duct system, it is often re-circulated throughout the home. Some occupants can be seriously allergic to this dander.
  • Mold: Mold can grow in areas that are often wet. This includes bathrooms and the attic. When those spores bloom, they can get into the air and circulate to other parts of the home. Some types of mold are toxic and can make occupants feel ill.
  • VOCs: Volatile organic compounds, known as VOCs, are chemicals that release large amounts of molecules that may have negative health effects for occupants of the home. Certain cleaning supplies, cooking, carpeting, non-electric space heaters and certain types of paint all contain VOCs. Some VOCs have a noxious odor while others don’t.

 

How do UV Lights Help to Purify Indoor Air?

UV light air purifiers work by using ultraviolet light to inhibit the growth of mold spores germs and some types of bacteria that may be hanging out in the duct system. This prevents harmful contaminants from circulating throughout your home. When installed in the home, the UV light works in a cumulative manner to clean the air. As the air passes over the light, more contaminants are killed off or are removed from the circulating air.

There have been numerous studies conducted by Penn State University, Harvard School of Public Health, General Electric and others that have proven that UV light has the ability to cause damage to DNA in germs, bacteria and mold. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that hospitals use UV light to prevent tuberculosis bacteria from being transmitted via the hospitals’ inside air.

UV Light

What are the Advantages of Installing a UV Light Air Purifier?

UV light air purifiers are installed directly inside your cooling and heating unit. This prevents the UV light from being harmful to any of the home’s occupants while killing bacteria, mold and germs where they are most likely to grow. Because the contaminants are not multiplying or collecting in the ducts, the UV light keeps the coils clean, preventing them from needing routine maintenance or even cleaning, a process that can be expensive. Even further, the odors caused by pets or normal, everyday activities are also reduced. When it comes to maintaining the UV light, many types simply need to have the lamp replaced just once a year.

Do I Really Need a UV Light Air Purifier?

If you share a home with pets, family members who have allergies or family members who enjoy cooking and crafting with glues, paint or adhesives that leave an odor, a UV light air purifier can help reduce contaminants that could have an impact on your indoor air quality. Because these UV lights also can increase the efficiency of your HVAC equipment, those who have these lights installed generally find that their HVAC unit does not have to work as hard to keep the temperature consistent.

Ultimately, installing a UV light can be extremely beneficial for homeowners. If you feel that a UV light might improve your indoor air quality, contact us so we can find the right option for you.

 

Improving Indoor Air Quality During the Fall and Winter

Friday, October 16th, 2015

During the late fall and winter time, many people choose to close off their homes to the outside world. However, this causes the indoor air to become trapped inside the home, which could result in a buildup of pollutants that then re-circulate for the rest of the season. With this in mind, there are quick and easy ways that you can improve your home’s indoor air quality this fall and winter.

Indoor Air Quality

Increase the Home’s Ventilation

When a home is properly ventilated, air is constantly being circulated throughout the building. With most newer homes now being designed to be energy efficient, however, fresh, outdoor air is often rarely allowed to enter the home. Window and bathroom exhaust fans can help introduce outside air indoors without cooling off the home.

Additionally, you may want to wait to complete any projects that require the use of products that give off pollutants until the weather is warm enough to open the windows for a bit. For example, if you plan on repainting a room or upgrading an old piece of furniture, it may be best to hold off until warmer weather as the paint may contain pollutants that could be harmful. Without proper ventilation, those pollutants will just continue circle throughout the home until the warm weather arrives.

Control the Moisture Levels

During the fall and winter months, the air tends to become dry, especially in the home. A little bit of moisture keeps a home’s occupants more comfortable. However, too much moisture can encourage mold, mildew and bacteria growth, all of which decreases a home’s indoor air quality. It is recommended that you keep your home’s humidity levels above 30 percent and lower than 60 percent when possible.

Minimize Pollutant Sources

Many home items and materials release harmful pollutants, known as volatile organic compounds, long after they’ve been used or installed. Carpeting, certain types of flooring and paint all give off fumes and other pollutants for long periods of time after installation or application. Chemical household cleaning products and any gases used for heating also decrease indoor air quality, as pollutants are constantly being introduced into the indoor environment.

While some pollutant sources are inevitable, such as gases used for heating, there are some alternative materials and cleaners available that won’t release pollutants. For example, a mixture of vinegar and water or even water and baking soda can be used for simple cleaning projects.

Keep the Home Clean

Routinely dusting and vacuuming can help you keep certain pollutants, such as pet dander and mites, at bay. Using a damp cloth on items that need to be dusted will keep the dust from becoming airborne and irritate those who suffer from allergies. Regularly washing pet beds and other areas where your four-legged friends love to hang out can also help you keep control over certain pollutants that may pollute indoor air. Make sure to replace vacuum filters and other air filters as recommended to help increase the home’s indoor air quality.

Consider Using an Air Purifier

Air filters can assist you with removing pollutants from the air. As with any appliance, however, they have a range of effectiveness based on the type and quality of the purifier. While whole-house purifiers remove more pollutants than table-top purifiers, they can be expensive to install. Table-top purifiers that high air-circulation rate and a high percentage efficiency rate may work well if they are placed near sources of pollutants, such as near a newly-painted wall or freshly-painted furniture.

 

Dealing with Fall Allergies

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Most people think of allergies as something that occurs only in the spring. However, if you or a family member are one of the many affected by fall allergies, you know just how difficult it can be.

42. Allergies
Types of Fall Allergies

One of the largest contributors to allergies during the fall is ragweed. This plant can produce up to one billion grains of pollen per plant per season. Ragweed pollen has a distinct advantage in that it is lightweight and can travel hundreds of miles. The weed itself is versatile; it can grow along roadways, cracks in the sidewalk and in open fields. The pollen usually affects those between late summer and early to mid-fall.

The remaining contributors include a few other weeds and molds. The weeds may include sagebrush, goldenrod and pigweed. While their pollen can certainly cause discomfort for some, they do not pose as big a problem as ragweed for the majority of those affected by fall allergies.

Mold spores can be found throughout the early spring and summer; however, they become much more of a problem during autumn when the leaves fall. As the day warms up, the spores actually can rise into the air and affect the health of those who have to travel. In the evening, the spores return back to the ground.

 

Allergy Symptoms

The symptoms for fall allergies can vary depending on how each person is affected. While these symptoms are temporary, they can cause you or your family member to be utterly miserable. Someone affected by allergies may experience a runny nose, persistent coughing and itchy eyes. It can be difficult to pay attention in school or at work and can affect a person’s ability to do the best work possible.

 

Reducing Allergies in the Fall

Although allergies can be problematic, there are ways to prevent or reduce the symptoms so that they are manageable. Here are some precautions that can be taken by you or your affected family member:

  • Close the Windows: During the day when most mold spores are hanging in the air or ragweed is releasing pollen, it is best to keep the windows closed to prevent allergic reactions in the home.
  • Install a Whole-Home Air Cleaner: Aprilaire products can help you fight back at the particles that are harming your home and family.
  • Clean or Replace the Filters: If the air filters are clogged and you turn on the air conditioner, pollen and mold spores that were trapped can cycle back through the home. Clean filters can capture more contaminants.
  • Shower and Wash Clothing Frequently: As you walk around outside, spores and pollen can get into your hair and clothing. Showering and washing clothing will remove the allergens.
  • Vacuum and Dust Regularly: Vacuuming and dusting regularly will help remove any pollen or mold spores that are brought into the home.
  • Wear a Protective Mask: These masks can prevent a person from breathing in pollen and mold spores. While they may not be the most socially acceptable method, they can keep someone who has to be outdoors from suffering from allergies.

 

Get Help for Your Allergies

Fall allergies can be extremely disruptive, especially if they keep you or your family member from being unable to sleep, concentration or be as productive as possible when in school or at work. If you or your family member suffers these symptoms during this time of year, they may wish to be diagnosed by a doctor through a simple blood test or a skin test. If it is found that you or your family member is allergic to certain common fall allergens, medication may be possible.

 

Simple Tips to Controlling Summer Pests

Friday, June 5th, 2015

With the summer heating up, it’s time to get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors. However, the summer months also bring out a number of pests, including mosquitoes, ticks and bees. You do not need to resort to using products with harmful chemicals around your home to keep these insects at bay. By following these simple tips, you can keep these nuisances away from your home so you can enjoy your summer even more.

 

Mosquitoes

Considered to be one of the most dangerous pests, their bites result in itchy red bumps. However, these pests can also transmit a number of different diseases. In 2011, for example, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported over 700 cases, 43 of which resulted in death, of the West Nile virus that had been transmitted by mosquito bites.

17. mosquito

  • Natural Foods: Mosquitoes are attracted to human smells. Eating or using certain natural foods may actually mask your smell. For example, using citrus peels or onions as a natural insect repellent is not only safe for humans of all ages but it will also keep the mosquitoes at bay. Eating meals that include large amounts of garlic may also reduce your appeal to these pests.
  • Remove Their Habitat: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Removing all standing water from around your home will greatly reduce the number of these biting insects.
  • Plant Natural Repellents: Certain plants, like marigolds, catnip, basil and rosemary, are unappetizing to most insects. These plants can either be planted in pots and moved around or planted in the garden to keep the little nuisances away.

 

Ticks

While there are a number of species of ticks that can cause disease in humans, the black-legged deer tick causes the greatest concern. Often found in wooden areas or in tall grasses, this tick can transmit Lyme disease.TIck

  • Keep Your Lawn Manicured: Keeping your lawn mowed and removing weeds may seem like a chore on a hot day, but it will also make your lawn more enjoyable by repelling dangerous ticks. Since ticks love to live in overgrown wooded areas, it is also ideal to keep wood piles and brush away from the home. Similarly, keeping any swing sets or sand boxes away from these areas will also reduce the risk.
  • Watch Your Animals: Ticks are often brought into your home by hitching a ride on your furry friends. Keeping them out of wooded areas and long grass will help reduce the risk of ticks. Your pets should also be thoroughly checked for ticks if they do decide to take a stroll through the woods.
  • Where Light Colored Clothing: While ticks can be a big concern for both you and any children, they should not keep everyone from enjoying the great outdoors. By wearing light clothing, any ticks that are picked up should be readily visible before they bite.

 

Bees and Wasps

Every year, more than 500,000 people end up in the emergency room due to these stinging insects. Those who are most at risk include young children, older adults and those that are allergic to the venom in bee stings.

Wasp

  • Inspect Your Home for Colonies: One of the best ways to reduce the amount of bees is to rid your home of any bee colonies. If you notice an increase in the number of these stinging insects around your home, you may have a nest. Trying to remove a nest yourself can be extremely dangerous, especially if you are in an area that has reported sightings of Africanized Honey Bees. It may be best to find a reputable professional pest control company to take care of any hives.
  • Be Selective of Your Plants: Bees are attracted to flowering plants. If you or a family member are allergic, plant herbs and bushes nearby your home.

With these tips, you’ll be sure to reduce the number of pests around your home and backyard.